Leader Unit: XP gain from minion battles

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UberWaffe
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Leader Unit: XP gain from minion battles

Post by UberWaffe »

I have gone through both the frequently posted ideas and several of the forum pages and have not seen a similar idea, so forgive me if this has been suggested before.

Suggestion: Leaders gain XP from the battles their armies undertake.


Explanation:
i) Reason:
I find that there is no real insentive for using your leader unit in an attacking role. Often I find that the only time most people move their leaders is during the start to get a nearby town, or to retreat. Mainly this is due to:
1 - Lose your leader and you have a major disadvantage.
2 - Leaders are usually only 1 level higher than recruitable units. Does not provide a massive advantage in battle.
3 - Leaders have no traits, so are their 1 level advantage is sometimes lessened or negated by their respective level 1 unit with the right traits.
4 - Some distance into a game leaders are often weaker than most units. (Which always makes me think of a wrinkly old king leading an army, while being kept upright by his squire. :D )
5 - In order to gain enough experience to level up a leader (ignoring the dangers of doing so) often keeps your leader away from you keep too long, making you fall behind in production. (Given that gold is abundant)

ii) How my idea might work
I was thinking that simply making a leader start at a higher level gives a single unit too much power from the start. So isn't it perhaps possible to make your leader gain a fraction of the experience your units gain in battle? (<- Basic idea)

Now, for what I was thinking. (More detailed)
Every time a unit gains XP, a counter for that player is increased by the same amount. Now the leader, of that player, gains 1 XP every time the counter, of that player, is greater than or equal to {(Level of Leader) * LEADER_XP_MULT} (Look out people! He's got math! :P )
Ex: {(Level of Leader) * 10}
Effectively this means that the leader gets 1 XP for every:
10 XP on level 1
20 XP on level 2
30 XP on level 3
40 XP on level 4

So let us say Player 1's LEADER_XP counter is at 19. He sends ten beserkers into battle and gains a total of 22 XP between them, bringing his LEADER_XP counter up to 41. Since his leader is level 2, this means that {41 / (2 * 10)} = 2. So his leader gains 2 XP. His counter now drops to {41 - [2* (2 * 10)]} = 1.


iii) Possible benefits
1 - Leaders can grow strong enough to match units that level up normally.
2 - Leaders could possible be used to break stalemate situations if they are strong enough
3 - This benefits leaders that can only become level 3 units, as they will gain more XP than a leader that can become level 4. (ALMA bonusses aren't that great, so the slightly faster rate of XP shouldn't easily make level 3 units stronger than level 4.)
4 - Helps compensate for the lack of traits.
5 - Making it so it can be disabled/enabled gives a broader scope to the gameplay of Wesnoth.
6 - Leaders will no longer be weaker than their subordinates. (Come on, don't tell me you don't find the idea of a Great Mage taking orders from a Iron Mauler strange. :wink: )


Well, that sums up my idea. Any comments?

Edit: Oh, by the way. Wesnoth is a great game. A suitable quote for it: "Please, sir. May I have some more?" - Oliver Twist
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zookeeper
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Re: Leader Unit: XP gain from minion battles

Post by zookeeper »

UberWaffe wrote:Well, that sums up my idea. Any comments?
I find the idea of units gaining XP from something else than combat perfectly acceptable, but this is currently not the case in the game and I'd see it as a bit confusing if only the leader unit got "non-combat XP" while healers, leadership units and such didn't. And in campaigns it may not always be clear who is the "leader" - sure, you can (currently, this can change) only have one unit that can recruit, but he's not necessarily a great military leader in the campaign but in some cases just the "player's unit", when it might be odd to grant him such "leadership XP".

Now, I think that the math part is a bit too complex. Certainly it's not complex enough that the player couldn't figure it out, but it's complex enough to require thinking about it to figure it out - and something like that is usually too complex for a gameplay rule (even if the game as a whole, like when it comes to tactics, are quite complex, the basic gameplay rules are and should still be very simple).

Alternative idea: the leader gains 1XP * the killed enemy's level from every kill his side's units make (not counting himself). So, 0XP for lvl0 kills, 1XP for lvl1 kills, etc.

I don't think this has a very high chance of getting in, however, but personally I think it wouldn't be outrageous for letting some non-combat special abilities (leader status, leadership ability perhaps too, healing, etc) give XP, as long as it's balanced in some way (so fighting is still the fastest way to level). I think this one should be just a part of a bigger change to enable "non-combat XP" for some units or for use of some special abilities (since, as I said earlier, this "leader XP" alone might be a bit confusing). I wouldn't count on especially many devs to like the idea though, probably giving rule simplicity as the reason.
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Elvish_Pillager
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Re: Leader Unit: XP gain from minion battles

Post by Elvish_Pillager »

UberWaffe wrote:Leaders are usually only 1 level higher than recruitable units. Does not provide a massive advantage in battle.
Yes, it does!
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Re: Leader Unit: XP gain from minion battles

Post by Tux2B »

Elvish Pillager wrote:
UberWaffe wrote:Leaders are usually only 1 level higher than recruitable units. Does not provide a massive advantage in battle.
Yes, it does!
True on small maps, untrue on big maps, though on big maps you probably won't use your leader.
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scott
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Re: Leader Unit: XP gain from minion battles

Post by scott »

zookeeper wrote:I find the idea of units gaining XP from something else than combat perfectly acceptable
Yet the FPI list thinks differently.

The big problem with the idea that applies to other non-combat methods of gaining XP is that it doesn't expose the unit to physical risk. Leveling up becomes inevitable.

This also sounds like an idea suited for multiplayer, and - assuming we keep the ruleset consistent - it would be hideous in a campaign.
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Noyga
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Post by Noyga »

I think it would unbalance a little the balance of the leaders, since the leader would be more likely to levelup easily. In particular leaders that cannot levelup, like the saurians would be a less valuable choice, and those who have leadership would be stronger since they would more quickly give a stronger bonus.
Also, do we really need a unit to levelup if it doesn't fight at all ? For most units it's quite useless. For the leaders it gives more power to a large part of your troops if you use him as a leader... In this case i find this way of leveling too easy.
That's why i don't like the idea for mainline.
Nobody prevent you from using this in some custom campaign or scenario trough, and i think it's possible to implement this with WML.
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Viliam
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Re: Leader Unit: XP gain from minion battles

Post by Viliam »

Is the problem really in leader not getting enough XP, or rather in fact that in multiplayer there are not enough possibilities for leader to fight? Leader must always sit home, recruiting. If he would go just 3 turns away to fight, he would need another 3 turns to return, this is 5 turns without recruiting just to have an opportunity to attack one opponent unit. Leader usually fights when his home castle is under siege; that is, when he is losing the game anyway.

So probably having a faster levelling system for leaders in multiplayer would not change the gameplay substantially. Even if the leader has bigger chance to survive a combat, can cannot afford to leave his keep for many turns.

The situation in single player is different, because when player is already winning, he can stop recruiting new units and can use leader for the finishing fight. Also sometimes scenario objectives require leader to move to another place.
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irrevenant
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Re: Leader Unit: XP gain from minion battles

Post by irrevenant »

scott wrote:
zookeeper wrote:I find the idea of units gaining XP from something else than combat perfectly acceptable
Yet the FPI list thinks differently.
Scott's spot on - FPI: "Grant XP for healing/leadership or changing the balance of XP granted for fighting vs scoring the kill. (Reason: Game balance). "

In short, this is not something that will be changed in mainline. Feel free to discuss how it would work in a UMx though.

Incidentally, it's a very MP-focussed idea. In Campaign there's a very strong incentive to get your leader involved in the action (and levelled up) - otherwise he'll be an easily squishable bug when you hit the heavy opposition in later levels.
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Post by joshudson »

General -> Grand Marshal in one multi-player game. Shudder.
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Re: Leader Unit: XP gain from minion battles

Post by Glowing Fish »

Viliam wrote:Is the problem really in leader not getting enough XP, or rather in fact that in multiplayer there are not enough possibilities for leader to fight? Leader must always sit home, recruiting. If he would go just 3 turns away to fight, he would need another 3 turns to return, this is 5 turns without recruiting just to have an opportunity to attack one opponent unit. Leader usually fights when his home castle is under siege; that is, when he is losing the game anyway.
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SaintDust
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Post by SaintDust »

On a side note.. Gaining xp from things other than battle should be encouraged.

Capturing villages should give some xp..
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kshinji
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Post by kshinji »

Noyga wrote:those who have leadership would be stronger since they would more quickly give a stronger bonus.
Untrue. If already level 3 advancements aren't balanced, then they need to be balanced, and if they are, then additional xp will not unbalance it.

Saurians are true tough, as well as any leader that normally needs to avoid combat (ranged leaders, etc.).

However, i don't think unbalancing is the good point against any idea - unless the idea itself isn't very clever, i think we can do unbalancing changes from time to time, then balance everything for each 1.x.0 version.
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Noyga
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Post by Noyga »

kshinji wrote:
Noyga wrote:those who have leadership would be stronger since they would more quickly give a stronger bonus.
Untrue. If already level 3 advancements aren't balanced, then they need to be balanced, and if they are, then additional xp will not unbalance it.
Well the problem is the increased speed of advancement without taking any risk, not the unit itself.
While this makes a minor change for most leader units, it has a very tangible effect on a unit with leadership (+25% damage/level for a possibly large part of your army).
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Post by kshinji »

Hm, getting leadership early isn't any better than getting tougher 3rd level unit. All units are better when they level up.
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Lathai
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Post by Lathai »

Hm, getting leadership early isn't any better than getting tougher 3rd level unit.
Sure it is. I don't want my leader out on the front lines getting beaten up, I'd prefer it screened by lovely lvl 1 (or 2) units that it can give leadership too (and still be useful). That being said, IMO, the current system is what I'd prefer.
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